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Apple's next iLife member?
Another discussion me and my Apple-savvy friends had some time ago, when GarageBand was added to the iLife troupe, was what the next member of the package would be. The Consensus was that it would need to be something that allowed the user to be creative, in much the same way the current five iLife members are, to varying degrees.

To put my stake in the ground, I'm writing my predictions here. (Remember, you heard it here first!)

One possibility is a flash-creator of some sort. iLife always has ways to organise and manipulate still images, moving images, music, but there's nothing interactive. A flash-creator would be able to create dynamic, interactive content without requiring the user to learn a whole bunch of programming. Of course, its very hard to create something flexible, but allow the user to create something 'workable' in a short period of time, so perhaps some 'pre-programmed templates' such as series of 'basic games' that can be built on to create unique ones, or interactive menus, and so on.

Since flash requires graphics to be useful, a large set of stock icons (buttons, arrows, and so on), or a simple vector-graphics editor built in. A collection of stock 'sounds' would be good, and there's already ways to get music into the system (such as iTunes or GarageBand).

Another possibility is a broad (but simple, since iLife is about simplicity) set of HTML and Web-Page publishing tools. Several of the iLife programs can generate HTML that can be uploaded to a web site, but they're very inflexible. There's no Apple tool that can create reasonable-looking web pages... not yet, and web pages are a big part of getting content created by the rest of the iLife troupe 'out there' and seen (or heard).

So, that's that. My chips are down. Let's come back in a year and see how I did.

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In my experience, Flash performance on the Mac has always been ass.

"Look! I built this little game on my Mac! ...wow. it runs a lot better on your Windows machine." isn't likely too much of anywhere.

I remember some discussion about Bloxsom being bundled with some future release of the OS, probably Tiger. So that sorta solves the "generates web stuff". Sorta.

Granted, if there's going to be anything to do with flash, Apple will have to fix, or get fixed, the flash performance. I don't think there's an alternative to flash, is there? SVG does the graphical side, but no interactivity nor animation, as far as I know.

Not having heard of Bloxsom, I had a quick peek. Given it's narrow focus, and not having WYSIWYG modes, I don't think it'll take the place of a HTML generator. In fact, I don't think it'll be included in a OS/X release. It's neither a decent command line tool, nor a self-contained graphical application. It doesn't 'sit right'.

Now, I'm not saying it's not a decent app, it just doesn't seem like something Apple would include.

Yes, yes, I realise its functionality is different than a general-purpose HTML publishing tool. But, from the product's description, you need to use one editing tool to create the varying content, and then run it through Bloxsom to create the HTML pages, and that 'two stage' process doesn't seem very Mac-like.

Well, we'll see! Will be a big kudos for Bloxson if it does get included!

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